To Stop the Lie (2)
And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Zechariah 3.2
An epidemic of lies
We know that both David and Paul saw the reign of the lie among humankind to be a short-lived, albeit recurring, phenomenon.
David insisted that, though all around people were living by lies (Ps. 12), all those who speak lies would be stopped (Ps. 63.11); and Paul, echoing that, promised that those who reject the truth of God will not continue to make progress (2 Tim. 3.9). We should take great encouragement in these words because the epidemic of lies with which our world is presently infected is wreaking havoc in the affairs of people and nations. To know that God intends to stop the lie should fill us with hope and courage.
We need to ask ourselves whether we believe this, whether we accept the teaching of Scripture about the stopping of lies, and if we’re prepared to take our place in that great work.
The Word of God says it – and not just in these two passages. In various places the Scriptures indicate that those who traffic in lies will not be able to stand against the truth as it marches on through the ministries of the Church.
God has promised it.
The promises of God
Here is just a sample: God promises to bring the plans and schemes of the nations to naught (Ps. 33.10). His glory and the testimony of His children will still His enemies (Ps. 8.2). God will shut the mouths of all wicked people (Ps. 107.42) and all who practice injustice (Job 5.16). He puts to silence every sinful mouth before the testimony of His Law (Rom. 3.19). He raises up church leaders to stop the mouths of those who teach lies within the church (Titus 1.7, 8).
Clearly, God is not pleased that lies should continue to inundate the world (Rev. 12). He means business about this, and He calls His people to confront and bring to naught the various versions of the lie as these come to light in the social and cultural arenas of our lives.
What the Scriptures promise throughout is symbolized in Zechariah’s vision. The prophet saw the High Priest and Ruler of God’s people – named, “Joshua” or “Jesus” – being accused by Satan because He was dressed in filthy garments in the Presence of the Holy God (Zech. 3.1, 3).
Here is the persistent motif of the ages: the father of lies railing against the very embodiment of truth, seeking to put Him down and to reign in His place (cf. Matt. 4.1-11).
But those filthy garments are our sins, which Jesus bore in His own body before the Father. And Satan’s accusation should rightly have been directed against us. Yet, Jesus’ sacrifice accepted, He was clothed in proper garments of righteousness, and Satan was commanded to shut up and be on his way (Zech. 3.2, 4, 5).
The accusations of the father of lies cannot prevail against the truth of God. Jesus will stop the lies by His righteousness and truth, embodied and proclaimed in His people.
The ammunition we need
The righteousness and truth of Jesus Christ are the ammunition we need to stop the mouths of liars. As we read in Matthew 22.46, once Jesus established His deity, sovereignty, and coming Kingdom, on the authority of God’s Word, all those who had to that point opposed him publicly and outspokenly were no longer able to answer Him and had nothing left to say.
From that point on they would turn to violence rather than words. How can such fury of lies and hostility be stopped? Only by the faithful witness of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was the testimony concerning Jesus and His power to make all things new that Peter and John proclaimed before the religious leaders of their day, leaving those enemies of Christ with nothing left to say (Acts 4). The salvation of Jesus Christ – His forgiveness, holiness, transforming grace and power – lived out and declared by His people, is the power of God for salvation, the power to stop the lie because it leads men into the light of truth.
Christians must take up the challenge, within their own spheres of influence, of confronting, exposing, and stopping the lie which ravages the lives and wellbeing of so many. Let our rebuke ring out in lives of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit coupled with words of testimony and truth. For if we will be faithful to our calling, the Lord will rebuke the father of lies and stop the flood of lies that even now threatens to destroy the world.
While we do not expect a complete vanquishing of the lie here and now, we do expect to see real progress of the truth, the truth that makes us free from lies and deceit and sanctifies us as a holy people unto the Lord. Moreover, we know that a day is coming, then and there, when all lies and liars will be eternally banished from the Presence of God and condemned to misery and woe.
It is toward that far horizon that we are called to strive against the lie with all our powers, in every situation, at every opportunity.
1. Do you feel adequately equipped to take your place, in your own Personal Mission Field, to expose, oppose, and stop the Lie? Why or why not?
2. Do you think it would make a difference in your daily life if you consciously arose, each day, determined to resist the lie, rebuke the devil, and work for the progress of truth? Why or why not?
3. When at last we arrive at that “far horizon” and see Him Who is the Truth face to face, what will you say to Him concerning how you worked to stop the Lie during your time on earth?
Next steps – Preparation: What fears or concerns do you have about taking up this challenge and calling to stop the Lie? Talk with the Lord about these and seek courage to live out His calling.
T. M. Moore
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